Eight cuts of MDF. They will form the base of the grinder.
BrokeStick bow building got to the point where it needed a lamination grinder — a device that would not only grind a stick of wood to a desired thickness, but grind a taper into it as well. Didn’t need to search far and wide. Fortunately, a guy named Jim Thorne (AKA jwillis) built one and was generous enough to share the design with the world.
But does it work? Especially in the inept hands of the BrokeStick cohort?
Remember this guy?
The zebrawood belly chrysaled (lots of tiny cracks) about mid limb, rendering the stick broke. With nothing to lose but time, I decided to do some surgery. This is what happened…..
From left to right: homemade serving jig, bowstring wax (with beeswax barely visible behind it), Brownell’s Dacron B-50 string, waxed, from 3Rivers Archery, which I love.
FYI: The string referred to in this post is the one I made for the walnut bamboo longbow in this series. The critique of that bow follows this string thing because one needs a string to shoot the bow for critique purposes.
If you really want to learn to make a bowstring, fly to the bottom of this post and check out my string mentor, Nick Tomihama’s videos. The videos below are the ones I watched before attempting my first string.
On the other hand, if you’re killing time or want to wade in to string making, read on…..
When we last left the bamboo walnut longbow build, we saw how linseed oil brings wood color to life.Behold, the handle and fades. The limbs are walnut backed with bamboo. The too-thick yellow chunk is yellowheart. And the stripey stuff is aptly named zebrawood, AKA zebrano. If I were to build exactly this bow again, I’d make the yellowheart layer no thicker than the bamboo. I’d also do something truly crazy: extend the handle woods into the fades.
Previous stages in this build: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
After the linseed oil bath, another color treatment remains. This time, the bamboo gets it. A baptism of fire. Very dangerous business…..
You’re probably wondering, where’s Parker? Well, yeah, he didn’t work out.
Long skinny objects that aren’t fashion models are not easy to photograph, especially in a barn. Here’s the walnut-bamboo flatbow/longbow at the need-to-carve-the-handle phase.
This post continues the walnut-bamboo flatbow type longbow build. Part 1 and Part 2
The handle is glued up and posing for photos. At this point, photography is a form of procrastination, rather than a distracting chore. Because the next step feels really dangerous…..
Love to see this packing tape. It means another shipment from 3Rivers Archery has arrived. In this case, more Dacron B-50 and a jazzy nock serving widget — birthday swag from St. Roslyn herself.
Note: I mention 3Rivers Archery Supplies with some frequency. And that’s because I like and trust the shop. I mention Sam Harper a lot, too. Neither 3R nor Sam knows me and I receive nothing but satisfaction when linking to them. I discovered 3R while reading Sam’s bow-builds.
There are other sites that cater to traditional-style archers and builders. Bingham Projects is one such. I take it from builds I’ve seen online that Bingham is known for it’s bow kits. Since I just learned that they sell Smooth On EA 40 by the quart and gallon, I’ll probably be ordering from Bingham very soon.
At some point, I’ll post a list of online suppliers. They’re not hard to find. Lancaster Archery Supply is another I just thought of.
I feel pretty secure in mentioning Bingham and Lancaster because lots of trad archers show warm regard for them.
I use Smooth-On EA 40, a two-part epoxy, for bow body laminations. It’s easy to measure, mix and use. Cost: $35.50 (plus shipping) from 3Rivers Archery. Expensive? No. I’ve done at least 10 glue-ups and have enough for at least three or four more.
It’s glue-up time. Part 1 of this walnut-boo bow build is here.
The two planks dominating the foreground comprise a bow in its embrionic form. You wouldn’t call them embrybows. But I would.
The darker piece is domestic walnut, black walnut. The lighter piece is bamboo. The walnut will be the belly, the bamboo the back. Bamboo makes good back.
Together, they’ll make a 68″ longbow or flatbow. Far as I know, unless you’re talking English longbow, flat and long are more or less swappable. As far as I know.
Now, let’s get to work on this thing.